Candle Business & Industry Facts
The Candle Industry Business
- There are over 400 commercial, religious and institutional candle manufacturers in the U.S., as well as numerous small craft producers for local, non-commercial use, who melt more than 1 billion pounds of wax per year.
- Typically, a major U.S. candle manufacturer offers 1,000 to 2,000 varieties of candles in its product lines.
- Candle sales have grown 10 to 15 percent per year in the last decade, fueled by consumer interest in aromatherapy and increased demand for home fragrance products.
- Candles are used in 7 out of 10 U.S. households.
- Manufacturer surveys show that more than 95% of all candles are purchased by women.
- Candle industry research indicates that the most important factors affecting candle sales are scent, color, cost and shape. Consumers are increasingly purchasing candles as a focal point for their home décor, and for aromatherapy-like relaxation and stress reduction.
- Fragrance: With a choice of about 10,000 different candle scents, fragrance is by far the most important characteristic impacting candle purchases today, with three-fourths of candle buyers saying it is extremely important" or "very important" in their selection of a candle.
- The majority of U.S. consumers use their candles within a week of purchase.
- Nine out of ten candle users say they use candles to make a room feel comfortable or cozy.
- Candle users say they most frequently burn candles in the living room (42%), followed by the kitchen (18%) and the bedroom (13%).
- Approximately one in five women say they use candles to decorate the yard, patio or other exterior areas, as well as the interior of their home.
- Both men and women consider candles to be an always-acceptable and highly appreciated gift for a wide variety of occasions.
- Candle purchasers say they view candles as an appropriate gift for the holidays (76%), as a house warming gift (74%), a hostess/dinner party gift (66%), a thank you (61%) and as adult birthday gifts (58%).
- The retail price of a candle generally ranges from approximately 50¢ for a votive to $75 for a large pillar candle. Highly unusual or embellished artisan candles can be $200 or more.
- Two-thirds of candle purchasers say they use candles once a week or more often
Candles are principally sold in:
- Specialty or gift shops
- Department and home décor stores
- Mass merchandisers like discount, drug and grocery stores
Candle Wax Facts
- Prior to the 19th century, a "wax" candle typically referred to a beeswax candle.
- All waxes are primarily hydrocarbons, whether the wax is of animal, vegetable, or petroleum origin. The chemical composition of all waxes used for candle-making is similar.
- An estimated 1 billion pounds of wax are used in the candles sold each year in the United States.
- Candles account for the second largest use of waxes in North America, after packaging and package coatings.
- Paraffin is the most commonly used candle wax today. Beeswax, soy wax, palm wax, gels, and synthesized waxes are also used in candle-making for the U.S. market, as are blends of waxes.
- Waxes burn with a yellow flame due to the presence of carbon.
- No specific type of wax or wax blend is considered "best" for candlemaking. All candle waxes - when provided in high-quality format - have been shown to burn cleanly and safely.
- No candle wax has ever been shown to be toxic or harmful to human health.
- There is no such thing as a soot-free wax. All organic compounds when burned will emit some carbon (soot) due to incomplete combustion. Sooting is primarily a factor of wick length and disturbance of the flame's steady teardrop shape.
Melting & Filling Equipment, Inc.
National Candle Association